RAF RIDE CHELSEA have received a boost in their pursuit of Rafael Leao after the AC Milan star reportedly demanded club-record wages to stay.
The forward’s contract runs until 2024 and he has attracted plenty of interest from major European clubs.
Leao failed to impress in Milan’s two games against Chelsea in the Champions League
Leao failed to impress in Milan’s two games against Chelsea in the Champions League.
The Blues are believed to be particularly keen on the 23-year-old who has gradually emerged as one of football’s most exciting attacking talents.
But Milan will want big money for their star with his valuation being reportedly in the region of £105m.
The power could be shifting back towards Chelsea however as Sky Italia report that the Italian club have a fight on their hands over Leao’s contract.
The Portuguese hitman is reportedly requesting a huge hike in his wages to make him sign an extension.
His change in agent is believed to have complicated the situation for Milan who are keen to tie him down to a long-term deal.
Sky Italia say Leao wants a wage increase from around £7.8m a year to £8.7m a year, money that AC Milan have never paid a player before in their history.
There is also an issue with his former club Sporting Lisbon who are reportedly still owed £16.5m over a contract dispute going back to 2018.
All of this could play into Chelsea hands with the London club linked to Leao for several weeks.
Blues boss Graham Potter struggled to hide his admiration for the ace when asked about him as Chelsea played Stefano Pioli’s side twice in the Champions League group stages.
Potter said: “You can see Leao’s quality and skills, it’s obvious. But he is part of a strong team. We have to respect that [he is under contract].”
Leao signed for Milan in 2019 from Lille and proved to a major part of the team who were crowned Serie A champions last season.